Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Best is Yet to Come

June 16, 2018

Hey, Friends! :)

Oh my goodness! What an incredible week this has been! I am truly humbled have been able to serve He who has given me so much. My time serving the Lord as a full-time missionary has been the most incredible experience of my life. I don’t even know where to begin to explain the gratitude I have for what the Lord has shown me and has done for everyone I have come in contact with. God is so good to His children and I have had a front row seat in seeing the change that comes into people’s lives as they accept and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. God truly loves His children. I know that is certain.

This week has been a week of a lot of hard work, a lot of reflecting, and a lot of miracles. First off, let me tell you about my new and final companion, Elder Bennion! He is awesome! Elder Bennion is from Oregon and has been on his mission for about 8 months. He has had a very interesting mission so far! Elder Bennion was called to serve in Instanbul, Turkey. He was there for about 4 or 5 months until all the missionaries were evacuated due to some political issues! Crazy! So Elder Bennion was sent here to NY! WHOOT! He has been an amazing addition to our companionship. Elder Reynolds and Elder Bennion have been great companions!

Another fun fact about Elder Bennion: he is related to some of my favorite members in Midwood, Valerii and Galina! Valerii is a recent convert and his wife, Galina, was already a member. They are from Russia and I love them so much!

Earlier this week I found out something super amazing! Do you remember Gary from Plainview? He was the first person I taught and baptized on my mission. Well, I just found out that he received the Melchizedek Priesthood last week! I am so happy for him!

So, a couple nights ago I was sitting in my bed reflecting on my mission and talking with the Lord about these past 2 years. As I was pondering, we got a phone call from the elders serving over in Rego Park (my 2nd area). Turns out that they ran into someone on the street who claimed that I gave him a Book of Mormon 2 months ago. His name is Sharif. Initially, I didn’t remember. But I looked up his number in my phone a found a conversation I had had with him over text from the 4th of July last year (when I gave him the Book of Mormon) while I was serving in Rego Park! I was surprised that he remembered me, because we weren’t able to actually teach him. I reached out to him again and it was a really neat experience catching up with how he has liked the Book of Mormon. Sharif is now going to start meeting with the missionaries :) I have no doubt that God Set that one up.

On Thursday, we were invited by our friend at the Halal food cart to come to his mosque to break Ramadan fast with him. Turned out that his mosque was the one right down the street from our chapel! It was really cool to witness and be apart of another religion in action. After we broke Ramadan fast with them, we ate dinner with the 50 or more Member including the mosque Imam (we got sit at the Imam’s table). 

Well, today was my departing temple trip with the Reynolds, tomorrow I will have my departing interview with President Reynolds, and next Tuesday I will be back in Utah. After 2 years of serving the Lord in 5 different areas of NY and with 16 different companions, I have finally become one of the missionaries whose turn it is to go home. I am sad this time has come, but am also optimistic for the future. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had serving the Lord here in New York. It has been the greatest 2 years of my life so far and I know that there are more great things to come. Over the past couple years I have come to know my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I know they live and I will testify of it every moment of every day. The Lord truly is my light and my Salvation. Our Heavenly Father sent His only Begotten Son to the earth to live and die and live again just so we may have the opportunity to do the same. Jesus is the Christ; He is the way to eternal happiness and exaltation with our God who loves us with everything that He is. If you give your life to the Lord, He will make you into something greater than you ever could have possibly done on your own. 

There is so much more I wish I could say, but I am struggling to find the words for it. I guess overall, my mission has enabled me to know who my God is and I love Him. 

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 
2 Timothy 4:7

I love you all! I pray for you often. 

Don’t keep the faith, spread it!

Elder Snell

Pictures (I will send my temple trip photos next week)
2) Muslim Mosque down the street from our chapel
3) Super cool picture on the train
1) My super amazing companions! (Elder Bennion & Elder Reynolds) I love them so much!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bagels. Bagels Are In the Pot at the End of Rainbows

¡Hola, mi Amigos!

So, transfers are tomorrow! Wow! Another 6 weeks already come and gone. Elder Reynolds and I are both staying here in Flushing. Although, we will be getting another companion! So, we will be in a trio for now :) tomorrow we will pick up my 16th companion! I have learned so much from each of my companions and have come to love and and every one of them! I thank God for giving me these wonderful Elders I have been learning from!

Well, I have to keep this one short due to time issues. The issue being that I did not start writing this until 15 minutes before we have to leave..... so....... I will keep this one simple hahaha.

We have been seeing a lot of really neat success in Flushing. I know the Lord has His hand in all of it! I love the people I serve and I love my Father in Heaven :) 

Next week, I have a temple trip, so my Preparation day has been switched to Tuesday the 19th. Hopefully I will be able to send a better email hahaha. 

Love you all! Thanks for being your amazing selves. Keep on smiling! :)

Elder Snell

1-2) Flushing 1st District!
3-5) Super cool pictures I found!!!
6-7) RAINBOW BAGEL!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Baptisms are White and So Am I

June 4, 2018

Hey, Friends!!! :)

This week has been a memorable one! We got to do lots of service to help one of our investigators (who started reading the Book of Mormon YES!!!!), and we saw tons of miracles!

Elder Reynolds and I have been super busy with teaching our investigators we have found over the past few transfers. I have seen so so so many miracles (that would take hours to explain over email) while I have been here in Flushing. I wish I could quickly tell you all of the details of finding and teaching Jessica and Isabella (those are some true miracles), but maybe next time! Or in person haha

Just a quick side note: I never realized how weird it is being one of the only white people here in Flushing until just recently. Sometimes, people will start yelling at us and wanting to start fights just because we are white. It is strange. Hahaha last week, we were crossing the street and a high school age kid comes up to us and stops us to say, “You two are the only white people I have seen for over a month! Way to represent!” Hahahahaha I love New York!

Anyway, I will tell you about Michael this week. When Mike was very young, he was adopted into a Mormon family and grew up going to primary and everything in The Bronx. However, the family went inactive before the time came for Mike to become a member of the Church. A couple of months ago, Mike contacted us through requesting a “Finding Faith in Christ” DVD. Well, we found out that he already had a Mormon background, so we jumped at the opportunity to teach him! Even though Mike was never baptized, he has never lost his testimony since he was taught the gospel as a little kid. It was such an amazing experience to reteach him all of the lessons and watch him grow closer to God. Mike was baptized and confirmed this past weekend and is glowing with enthusiasm for the gospel. He truly is a miracle and will do a lot to bring our branch closer together :) Mike has a special place in my heart, for sure!

I love this gospel and I love being a missionary so much! I have never experienced as much joy in my life as I have serving others and serving God on my mission. 

I love you all and wish you all the best!

Elder Snell :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Missionaries Are the Ultimate Stalkers

Hello Hello!!

So, our Zone has been doing a little spotlight thing over the past transfer. I figured I would just send you the one they did for me. So, I will paste it in right now haha

Elder Caden Snell, 19, Kaysville UT

Tender Mercy? 
A few weeks ago, we were knocking up in Whitestone and felt that we should talk to this woman sitting in her car. We did and she was SO COOL and fairly interested!! We got just her number and set up an appointment. Sadly she had to cancel. Well, a few weeks pass and she hasn't responded to our texts/calls. Just last week, we were knocking in College Point. While we were standing on a doorstep, when suddenly we heard someone call out to us and jokingly say, “Are you stalking me?” The same woman walked up to us from her car! Turned out that we were standing on her doorstep! She hadn't been responding because she broke her phone and it was getting repaired so she didn't have it for a while. God is so good!!! The woman is really excited to meet with us this week! 

“Fav Scripture? D&C 97:8

Throughout my mission I have seen so many lives (including my own) changed for the better. I know that as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ each day, we can have a change of heart and become divine in nature. We truly can “[put] off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord”. This change of heart is what brings us happiness ðŸ™‚ ðŸ™‚

It has been amazing to me to see how willing God is to guide and teach us in our lives. Especially if He is guiding us to bless someone else or be the answer to someone else’s prayer. I love our Heavenly Father with everything I have to offer. I know He lives and He sent His Son for us. Jesus Christ truly is the center of my life and has changed me into a better person. I am so grateful for His sacrifice for us and for the help and strength He gives to each of us to make it through our lives and come out a better and more Christlike person. 

“And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”

This scripture has never been more true to me in my life! What a blessing to be strengthened and enabled by someone who loves us infinitely enough to sacrifice Himself for us.

I love you all so much! There was a lot more that happened this week, but I will just have to leave it at that ðŸ˜…

Have the most amazing week ever!

Elder Snell

1-2) Here is the flower I have been growing!! 
3-5) This is one of the English classes the missionaries teach. They asked us to take a picture for them hahahaha I love Flushing so much!!!
6) Our investigator, Jessica, took us out to Lunch before our lesson with her!

There’s No Place Like [the Mission] Home

May 21, 2018

Hello, Everyone! :)

I guess I will get right to it since I have super procrastinate writing this yet again... oops. Maybe someday I will learn to start writing emails sooner!

On Tuesday, we had our Zone Conference. I am never going to forget this conference! Because our mission will be merging with the North mission in July, the Church will be selling our mission home. So, President and Sister Reynolds thought it would be really neat to have our final Zone Conferences before they go home at the mission home! Wow, that living room felt so alive with the Spirit. There was not a dry eye in the room during the workshops, musical number, and the departing missionaries’ testimonies. What a memorable experience! I sure felt the love Heavenly Father has for me and for all his children here in NY. I love it here so much!

Later in the week, we had exchanges with the Korean Elders. Elder Lee came with me into my teaching pool. We had a blast and saw miracle after miracle. I felt the Spirit leading us every step of the way throughout the entirety of our exchange. It was incredible to be led by God to find those who are ready to hear His gospel. 

Well, this is going to have be a short one! Sorry about that.... I still love you all and hope you have the most amazing week ever!!!!

Love ya!
Elder Snell

1) This is our investigator, Jessica!!! She is literally the greatest!!! I love her so much!!
2) This is our investigator, Michael!! He has never shaved on his own before, so I got to teach him this week :) :) 
3) This is my super wonderful district! Love these missionaries!
3-6) Zone 6 Zone Conference at the Mission Home :) :) :) :) :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

God is Aware of You! Even If You Are In a Coma


Happy Mother’s Day (yesterday)!!!!

Wow! It was great to be able to talk with my family again for the final time on my mission. I love seeing their smiling and happy faces! I love them so much! I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for sending me to the most amazing family I could have asked for! I am so blessed to have the greatest Mom in the world who loves me and has sacrificed so much for me and the rest of my family. I LOVE YOU MOMMY!!!! :) :) :)

Alright, so I don’t have a whole lot of time to email today...and I already told my family most of what happened this week.... so I will tell you about a miracle that happened just on Saturday that I forgot to tell my family! Hahaha

So, Elder Reynolds and I had found this really nice man named Ashok on Friday who was interested in meeting with us again at the church building. So, we had a lesson scheduled with him for 4:00 on Saturday. However, for some reason we totally forgot about the appointment and realized our mistake at 4:45! As we hurried as fast as we could (well, as fast as the MTA bus service could go) we called Ashok to apologize and ask if he would be able to make it at 5. Turned out that we was super delayed as well and said he would be there at 5:00. We finally made it to the church and Ashok never showed up!!! So, we figured we would just wait to see if he might show up before we would have to leave at 6. After waiting for a little bit, the Chinese Sisters came into the building saying they needed us to come talk to a man they just barely ran into on the street and invited to come see the church building. The man they brought in was named Edgar and is from the Philippines! He is so kind and friendly! Well, Elder Reynolds and I showed him the building and taught him the Restoration using the pictures hanging on the walls around the building. As we showed him the baptismal font, Edgar said that he felt it was a very holy place. Just before entering the baptismal font room we had taught him about the restoration of the priesthood, so as we stood next to the font I invited him to be baptized by someone who now holds that same priesthood authority. The Spirit touched his heart and Edgar agreed to be baptized! We then walked with him to the Chapel and taught him about how we renew our baptismal covenants in this room as we partake of the sacrament. I asked him how he felt in there and Edgar again said he felt this room was very holy. Edgar agreed to come to church the following day! As we were talking in the Chapel, Edgar informed us of his wife’s dire medical situation. It turns out that his wife had total organ failure while they were on a trip in Germany 5 months ago and has been in a coma ever since. We told Edgar about the power of the Priesthood through blessings and he asked if we could give one to his wife in the nursing home hospital just 2 blocks away. It was a very sacred experience giving his wife, Linda, a blessing. As I was giving her the blessing, I felt prompted to tell Linda (who is still unconscious) that she would make a full and speedy recovery and that God would inspire doctors to discover what is wrong with her and what they need to do to help her. I know that God works through us as we are willing to submit to His will! God lined up our day perfectly (even though it meant cancelling our original appointment by making us forget about it) so that we could help out Edgar and his wife. 

I know that God lives and that He is very aware of each and every one of us. He loves you and knows exactly what you need right now. Trust Him! Follow Him! As you do, He will never lead you astray.

I love you all so much and hope you had an amazing Mother’s Day!

Until next week,
Elder Snell

1) My amazing Mom! She is a major reason that I am the person I am today! Thanks for everything you do for me, Mom :) :) :) I love you!!!!!1
2) My Dad was stuck in St. George and my Grandma is currently serving a mission in the Nauvoo, Illinois temple! What a memorable video chat for Mother’s Day! 
3) Lunch on exchanges with our Zone Leaders! I got to go with one of my previous companions, Elder Lee!
4) Poké bowl! I love all the super cool foods you can find here in Flushing! This one is a Hawaiian dish :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Moral of the Story Is: Expect the Unexpected

APRIL 30, 2018

Hey, Everyone! :)

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with explaining how this week went. You know those moments where something super unexpected happens and all you can do is just sit there and have no clue what to do or say? This week has been just a whole bunch of those moments! Hahaha both for amazing and confusing reasons. I will try to share what I can haha

Well, I still have no clue where to begin... so I guess I will just start with the most recent and work my way around the week! This morning we had our transfer calls!! We went into the call with a pretty idea of what we expected to happen, but then—as is consistent with the pattern of missionary work—the unexpected happened! Before I get to the actual call, I have to explain something that happened on Friday. I know, I know, sorry for the suspense ðŸ˜… On Thursday, we were in a lesson with one of the less-active members we are working with (who, by the way, was just ordained to the office of Elder last week and received the Melchizedek Priesthood! So proud of him!) when we suddenly get a call from President Reynolds. I answered the phone and President asked me if he could have my companion! Well, the assistants came Friday morning and took Elder Rice down to Lynbrook. In our mission we call this being “midnighted”. So, Elder Rice has been down in Lynbrook since Friday and will not be coming back next transfer.... Elder Schroader and I have had an absolutely amazing weekend! Miracle after miracle! But I will get to that in a little bit. Okay, back too transfer calls this morning! So, we were expecting Elder Schroader and I to stay together because they took Elder Rice last week, but once again we have learned another lesson in the indiscernible pattern of missionary work! Elder Schroader is OUT! So I will be finishing my mission here in Flushing, Queens with a new companion. Also, President Reynolds just called me and released me from my assignment as a District Leader. He informed me that my new companion will be the district leader for the first time on his mission, and that he chose me to train him to be a solid leader. So, I will be a junior companion for my last transferand will be focusing on helping my new companion become a better leader than I have ever been :) 

Sorry for the long paragraph! Hahaha I will keep the next one relatively short :)

First of all, here are a couple MIRACLES!!!!!!! Do you remember my investigators Jose and Irina in Midwood, Brooklyn? Jose was the one who completely changed his life around by overcoming things such as heroine, cocaine, stealing cars, robbing houses, weed, cigarettes, etc. And Irina was the wonderful Russian woman who had to travel everywhere in her automated wheelchair. These two have a really special place in my heart. I am so so so so so happy to tell you all that they were both baptized and confirmed this last week! God truly is a god of miracles and never ceases to bless and strengthen His children. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel toward our loving Heavenly Father. 

Next miracle! Isabella is an investigator Elder Rice and I found last transfer. She is amazing and I love her to death! She has come to watch General Conference with us and also made it to Stake Conference two weeks later. However, we hadn’t been able to sit down and have a lesson with her due to her busy work schedule working at the hospital. We have been praying for God to help her have the desire to make time to meet with us and on Friday God answered that prayer in a very interesting way. As Elder Schroader and I were knocking up in College Point, we got a call from Isabella. Her voice sounded flustered and as if she was about to cry. She rapidly explained what has been going on her life over the past couple weeks with one of the tenants in her house. To make a long story short, Isabella was doing this man a favor by allowing him to live in one of her rooms she rents out until he found a job. Well, the man abused this privilege and did some really terrible and illegal things to Isabella. He then twisted the situation and is pressing charges on Isabella for something that never happened. Isabella called us asking for help and asking if we could pray with her before she goes over to the police station to press charges on him. We met her at thee church and talked for a bit. We taught her about priesthood blessings and offered to give her one. She was extremely grateful to receive one and said she felt much better afterwards. I am so grateful for the blessing we all have to enjoy the comforting and strengthening influence of God’s power in this life. Isabella asked us if we wouldn’t mind meeting with her regularly to continue teaching her more about the Church. God truly answers prayers and allows us to experience trials in order for us to grow closer to Him.

Funny story for the week! So, thee transfer before I got here in Flushing, Elder Rice and his companion had been teaching a Russian couple named John and Lydia. However, they dropped them a while ago due to some complications in their teaching. Well, we felt that it would be a good idea to give them a visit last week and see how they are doing. We got there and they let us right in and sat us down and gave us lemon cookies and grape juice! They have such pure hearts :) our conversation was going really well until John brought up his concern again from when they were being taught previously...the Sabbath day. Yes, John and Lydia are 7th Day Adventist and hold very strong to the doctrine of celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday. I have taught quite a few 7th Day Adventists on my mission, so I felt confident we could help them understand why we reverence the Sabbath day on Sunday. Well, throughout our conversation, John whipped out scripture after scripture from the New Testament AND The Book of Mormon that talked about honoring the Sabbath day and keeping it holy. John and Lydia have read the entire Book of Mormon and have a firm testimony that it is true! However, they claim that they are the only true Mormons because they celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. We tried just about everything......and then.......we realized the reason Jon and Lydia were not understanding. The word “Sabbath” in the Russian language translates to “SATURDAY”. To them, Sabbath literally means Saturday! So every scripture to them reads, “honor Saturday and keep it holy”. I am very proud of them for their devotion to God, but we have no clue how to get past this one haha...

I have so so so many more miracles and blessings to share with you all, but I guess I will have to hold on to those ones due to the length of this email! Hahahaha sorry...... I will be sure to put pictures for those who just skim or skip to the bottom haha :) 

This past week, I read the most life changing talk I have ever read! It was given by Elder Bednar at a BYU-I devotional. Please read it and let me know what you think of it!

“A Reservoir of Living Water” Elder David A. Bednar BYU-I Devotional

I love you all! Make someone smile today :) :) Have an amazing week!

Elder Snell

1) We decided to start growing plants in our window sill! We got the seeds from a cereal box! :) :) 
2) Carla the Cactus
3-6) Pictures from our last week at Flushing Meadows Park!
7) Ever seen Men in Black?
8-13) District Activity at Flushing Meadows Park!!! :) :) :)
14-15) Meet the Spengleans!! I love this district so much! I am super sad to see half of them go, but I am still looking forward to the coming transfer :)
16-17) Irina and Jose on their special days!